New Poll Finds Employees Would Rather Watch Paint Dry Than Go To A Meeting

February 4, 2015  |  

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Do you find staff meetings so boring that you try to get out of them any way you can? Well, join the club. According to a new survey, a majority of workers said they would skip meetings if they could and 17 percent of employees actually said they would rather watch paint dry than to attend a meeting.

A new Harris poll, sponsored by the online collaboration company Clarizen, 46 percent of respondents said they’d prefer to do almost anything else instead of sitting in a status meeting. Seventeen percent said they would choose to watch paint dry. And get this, eight percent said they would have root canal versus a meeting.

Even though they hate them, employees wind up spending a lot of time in meetings; four hours a week in status meetings on average. Add to this another 4.6 hours a week prepping for them. But are meetings worth it? Maybe not. Time considered, these meetings cost the average company one day a week of work time for each employee. If there were no meetings, a company or team would see productivity increase by about 20 percent, reports Inc.

Of course, some meetings are important. “Meetings have value,” says Clarizen CEO Avinoam Nowogrodski, “but only if they are focused on problem solving, innovation, and identifying opportunities to cross-leverage each other’s work.”

Instead of a status meeting, there are other ways to check in on things, such as collaboration or project management software, which would let everyone see the status of every other member’s projects whenever they wanted.

Another option is to meet standing up. Since everyone is standing up, the meeting will most likely to be kept short. But this won’t kill the prep time workers have to put into the meeting.

Or instead of a meeting do some fun team bonding. “If you eliminate status meetings, you can create some of the same esprit de corps by bringing people together for something purely pleasurable, such as a weekly Friday pizza or bowling outing,” reports Inc. A happy team makes for a productive team.

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